In 1836 Robert Johnson of Middletown Connecticut was contracted to make 3000 Pistols for the US Government. They were ordered to replace the then in use Model 1826 pistol. The contract cost of these were $9.00 each.
Typical of the US government at the time; and even now, they did not purchase cutting edge technology. The M1836 was a .54 calibre smoothbore flintlock. And even though the percussion system was available, as well as rifling; they kept to the same standards as previous firearms.
The Model 1836 saw use in two wars. The Mexican-American War was its first introduction to combat. And when the Government finally decided to convert all serviceable firearms to the percussion ignition system, most of these were done as well.
It was these converted models that saw service in the early days of the Civil War.
The pistol pictured, while in not pristine condition is a surviving example of a Model 1836 conversion. The markings show it was made in 1838 and still has faint barrel stamps (US / E/ P). The stock as well has the correct inspector stamps. But the markings are too warn to clearly read.
The overall condition is what I would call, “average”. The rust is mild surface rust with no pitting. I call it patina. And the stock has several cracks in locations witch seem to be common on most examples I have seen.
This pistol is what I would consider a fireable weapon and could easily be restored to usable status. If so desired? Of course, this restoration would devalue it. But the option is there.
My personal feelings for this weapon is to make it a wall hanger and put it next to your old Springfield or Enfield Rifle. And if you happen to have a period correct sword to round it out? You will have an outstanding Civil War display.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”
Freeze is our resident All-American hunter, shooter, gunsmith and military surplus collector. When he is not processing his own game or running the smoker, he focuses on Com-Bloc weapons and Black Powder Shooting.